Tuesday, July 6, 2004
Sunny and warm
Finished the Halloween story late last night and did some revision work on it. Didn’t sleep well, and woke up before 6 AM to do another rewrite and then send it off. I wish I could do three or four more rewrites on it. There’s some good stuff in it, but it’s not where I want it. Well, it almost made the deadline, and if it gets rejected, I’ll keep working on it.
Now I have to start the Christmas story that’s due on August 1. I may have that be a Nina Bell story and get her stuck somewhere like New Jersey. If I could work on a first draft this week, it would give me enough time to do revisions.
But Angel Hunt requires the bulk of my attention this week. I still haven’t been able to answer all the questions I need to answer in order to write the next section.
Finished Dawn Powell’s letters. Enjoyed them enormously. Her New York novels are in storage. I’ve never read her Ohio novels, but now I want to.
Started Julia Cameron’s new book, The Sound of Paper, and I’m very disappointed. What she says is good, but she’s already said it in all her other books. She’s rehashing old material instead of taking us to the next level. It’s frustrating.
I have interesting dilemmas with both the work of Julia Cameron and Natalie Goldberg. Although they get far too touchy-feeling psycho-babbly for me much of the time, there are also very good techniques and ideas in their non-fiction work. However, I don’t like their fiction. I don’t find it works. I find it self-indulgent, often wallowing in description and inner psychology, rather than exploring story in relation to character. It’s a double question: How can they write so well about writing, yet much of their own writing doesn’t work? And how can I trust their writing about writing when I don’t like much of their writing?
Wanting to write and being a writer are two different things. I agree that everyone with the desire to write should do it. It’s important to express oneself; otherwise, it causes illness, both mental and physical. But, if you want it to be both your profession and your life’s calling, you have to take it a step further. It’s not just about writing in the waiting room or on the bus. It’s about making writing your priority. It’s about learning to draw boundaries and say no when people’s demands interfere with your writing. It’s about balancing the writing with the rest of your life, but, at the same time, having enough respect for it so that you don’t let other people’s demands supersede your writing.
Good news: Wild Child will run “The Goddess Green Room” in the August issue and “Horsewomen of the Apocalypse” in the September issue. Both were co-written with my friend Avonne, originally for Moon Tribe Tales. I’d asked her permission before submitting – and here she’s getting a publishing credit under her belt! It’s exciting for both of us. That piece had some outstanding writing in it, and many of the scenes can stand alone as short plays.
Must try to get some Latin and French done before I head off to the theatre for yet another long day.
Researched Albany area hotels for a friend.
The computer problems are getting on my last nerve. I told MSN since I can only access my e-mail 10% of the time, and I’m paying for unlimited use, I expect to be billed only 10% of the fee this month.
Found the guidebook I wanted for Vietnam, and it’s only whetted my appetite. There’s a lot I need to learn about the country and the culture before I even think of traveling there. I wonder if I could apply for grants to do a collaborative theatre piece there. I roughed out the specs, but reading about the government situation, I don’t know if I’d be allowed to do a project like that. Must do more research, and find travel forums and go to Journeywoman to see if anyone there has made such a trip.
Day work was fine. We still don’t know whether or not there will be a strike. A strike at this point won’t have much impact, except on everyone losing pay. It wont’ hurt the producers much. If there was going to be a strike, it needed to be over the holiday weekend. I think many of the actors feel betrayed by their union, and I don’t blame them.
Gave the hotel list to my friend who said, “oh, it’s only a fantasy anyway.” Gee, thanks. When you know that, in order to do the research, it meant giving up writing time, you damn well better not ask me to spend time on doing something that’s a “fantasy.” I’ll know better than to help next time.
Show was fine. It’s a darned good show, and I’m glad to be on it, in spite of the fact that everything is ten times harder than it needs to be.
Still no check from the magazine.
I need to figure out some more promotional stuff for the serials.